Journal Anthropology in Action-
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 50-54; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250306
Abstract:During the last weekend of October 2018, specialists from around the world met in Lisbon for the sixth ‘Why the World Needs Anthropologists’ symposium (WWNA). This yearly conference – which provides a space for sharing information, experiences and discussions regarding applied anthropology – has gone from a one-afternoon symposium to a three-day event with lectures, panel discussions, speed-talks, workshops, guided tours, social events and ‘Hot-Spots’ – stands where a range of institutions, sponsors and partners can present what they do. This year’s conference gathered more than 300 people from 33 countries (and more than a thousand online visitors via live-streaming) to reflect on the possibilities that the emergent discipline of design anthropology brings to anthropologists and designers and for cross-disciplinary collaborations. Significantly named, Designing the Future was a response to what many in the field feel is a time when the world needs more engaged anthropologists to spark ideas and bring out informed and well-thought-out research-based solutions.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 23-33; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250303
Abstract:This biographical and, in part, phenomenological anthropology of older people in post-industrial England illuminates a local and generationally specific communitarian critique of and form of resistance against the process of individualisation. Rather than presenting communitarianism conventionally as an abstract political ideology or set of ideas about locality, it is conceptualised as emerging from and being reinforced by experiences of ageing, especially bodily ageing. It these respects, the article responds positively to Tatjana Thelen and Cati Coe’s call to take the anthropology of ageing out of its current condition of relative intellectual marginality, by recognising ageing and its related care arrangements as key structuring features within societies and political organisation and by treating them as a window onto understanding broad-scale social and political processes.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 55-56; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250307
Abstract:Anthropology in Action is always happy to hear from potential reviewers at all stages in their academic careers. We currently have a number of books awaiting review. If you are interested in reviewing any of the books on the list below, please contact the reviews editor David Orr ([email protected]). We welcome reviews of around 600 words for a single book, but we are also keen to include review articles comparing two or more works, for which the word length is negotiable. Please also be aware that we can request recent publications (within the last year) from publishers, so do feel free to let us know of any books that you would like to review within the field of applied anthropology, and we will do our best to get them for you. Also note that publishers routinely send pdf or e-copies of publications rather than hard copies.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 45-49; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250305
Abstract:Queer/Tongzhi China: New Perspectives on Research, Activism and Media CulturesElisabeth L. Engebretsen and William F. Schroeder (eds.) with Hongwei Bao, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2015, ISBN 978-877-694-155-0, 274 pp., Hb: £60, Pb: £20. Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist ChinaHongwei Bao, Copenhagen: NIAS Press, 2018, ISBN 978-87-7694-236-6, 265 pp., Hb: £65, Pb: £22.50. White Gold: Stories of Breast Milk SharingSusan Falls, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-4962-0189-8. 242 pp., Hb: $65, Pb: $25.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 34-44; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250304
Abstract:In 2015, Germany entered what would later become known as the ‘refugee crisis’. The Willkommenskultur (welcoming culture) trope gained political prominence and met with significant challenges. In this article, we focus on a series of encounters in Berlin, bringing together refugee newcomers, migrants, activists and anthropologists. As we thought and wrote together about shared experiences, we discovered the limitations of the normative assumptions of refugee work. One aim of this article is to destabilise terms such as refugee, refugee work, success and failure with our engagements in the aftermath of the ‘crisis’. Refugee work is not exclusively humanitarian aid directed towards the alleviation of suffering but includes being and doing together. Through productive failures and emergent lessons, the collaboration enhanced our understandings of social categories and the role of anthropology.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 13-22; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250302
Abstract:The household is a ubiquitous unit of analysis across the social sciences. In policy, research and practice, households are often considered a link between individuals and the structures that they interact with on a daily basis. Yet, researchers often take the household for granted as something that means the same thing to everyone across contexts. As the household has never truly been a static unit of analysis, we need to revisit the household to ensure that we are still capturing what it means to be part of a household – especially if we are engaging in research where we aim to compare households across time and space. We analyse how the concept of the household has been used over time and identify areas, such as migration and urbanisation, where we need to ensure conceptual clarity. We use our field notes and ethnographic interviews to show the challenges of such an analysis.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 1-12; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250301
Abstract:As awareness of the potential threats posed by climate change increases, researchers and agricultural advisors are being called upon to determine the risks that different stakeholder groups will likely confront and to develop adaptive strategies. Yet, engaging with stakeholders takes time. It also requires a clear and detailed plan to ensure that research and outreach activities yield useful outputs. In this article, we focus on the role of anthropologists as researchers and conveners in stakeholder engagement and provide a generalised overview of a long-term engagement process proceeding in three stages: (1) fact-finding and relationship- building; (2) incubation and collaborative learning; and (3) informed engagement and broad dissemination. We conclude with a discussion of perspectives and challenges that were encountered during two engagement experiences in the south-eastern United States.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 42-44; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250206
Abstract:The Comfort of People Daniel Miller, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-5095-2432-7, 226 pp.How Development Projects Persist: Everyday Negotiations with Guatemalan NGOs Erin Beck, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017, ISBN 978-0-8223-6378-1, 266 pp.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25, pp 24-35; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250204
Abstract:This article explores women’s reactions to public health nutrition work in Guatemala, looking specifically at multi-micronutrients, or sprinkles. This anthropological research was carried out in two rural communities in Chiquimula, one of which was in the Maya Ch’orti’ region, during the 2017 seasonal period of scarcity. Taking as a starting point the limitations of a medicalised approach to malnutrition, this article discusses how multi-micronutrients are ill-suited as a solution for child malnutrition in situations of precarity. Though they are designed to be physiologically effective in reducing nutrition deficiencies in the body, they appear less useful once socio-economic conditions are considered. Women’s experience with malnutrition emergencies will be explored to show how health decision-making must be understood in relation to their social context as well as to their expectations for the future.
Anthropology in Action, Volume 25; doi:10.3167/aia.2018.250201
Abstract:I’m walking through Glasgow. The River Kelvin runs quietly this morning between lush green banks. Wrapped by trees in the height of new growth and scattered with elderflower blooms, it trickles peacefully down to the Clyde as tourists take photos and selfies below the imposing gothic towers of the university.